In the recent past, perhaps a decade ago or more, the word scooter evoked the picture of heavy, difficult to manage two-wheelers with gears, which felt very imbalanced in appearance. These were mostly ridden by the men and women were limited to riding pillion. However, all these changed drastically, when the lightweight, easy to manage gearless vehicles with good fuel efficiencies. Although it was the iconic Kinetic Honda that which started the gearless scooter revolution in India, it was the likes of Bajaj Sunny and TVS Scooty, which popularized them. However, Honda Activa made the gearless scooters more acceptable and popular among both men and women alike.
Before the active came into the scene, the other gearless scooters looked too fragile and small, and had a feminine feel to them, making the men shy away from them, despite being better than the old scooters. When Honda launched the Activa in 2000 as a unisex gearless scooter, more and more people started to prefer it, thanks to its sturdy and confidence inspiring look.
The flagship model of Honda in the scooter segment, the Activa is a segment leader in all sense of the word. Initially offered as a 102 cc bike with 7bhp power, the Activa was an instant success with men and women alike. It added to the appeal by offering features like kick /self-start, puncture resistant tire and many more, which were not very popular those days. Hence, the debutant variant of the Activa was a best-seller, despite its rather look and hefty make. Even though there was a waiting period of six months and more, people preferred to buy the Activa, making it the most sought after scooter in the country.
The successful journey of Activa went uninterrupted for almost a decade or so. Then when it was felt that the competition would catch up, Honda infused fresh breath into the bike by launching a new variant. A slightly more powerful engine of 109 cc and 8bhp of power propelled this new model. It also offered extra features like combi-brake and key shutter. The fuel efficiency was also claimed to have gone up by 15%.
The face lifted Activa, or the Activa-I was launched in 2013, with a sleeker and stylish look. Apart from the cosmetic change reflected in the design language, this variant was essentially the same as its predecessor.
However, increased competition called for drastic measures and Honda offered an upgrade of Activa in the first half of 2014. Named Activa 125, this model runs on a powerful 125cc engine, returning a mileage of 50kmpl. It also offers more choices of colors, which included Black, White, Blue Metallic and Silver Metallic. Currently, both Activa-I and Activa 125 are sold in India.